Posts filed under ‘Pinoy’

Mission Possible: Stolen American chopper recovered in Mindanao, Philippines

MIKEINMANILA EXCLUSIVE: UPDATE 3
13 bikes, 3 ATVs, SUVs, sports cars, guns galore and more recovered in a major raid. Second raid recovers around two dozen more bikes. NBI in Northern Mindanao identifies alleged owner of car dealerships as professional rider and car & bike dealer, report says 25 cars and 18 bikes recovered in major transpacific anti-grand theft auto raid.

One mans search for his unique Martin Bro’s custom ride leads to major bike gang GTA bust in Mindanao. PHOTO Law Enforcement handout

The story reads like a plot for Die Hard Six, for Skip Woods, the writer of Die Hard 5, GI Joe The Rise of Cobra, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.It’s often said the best stories are true to life. For the plot,  which would also fit on Fox’s ‘The Good Guys’, it starts from the simple recovery of a stolen vehicle —  a motorcycle,  a Martin Brothers original. Key figures:  a ‘major writer’  based in Texas who works in  Hollywood.

He loves his bike, a custom Martin Brothers bike. He loved long drives and would head out from wide open spaces in California to flatlands and expanse of open space of the Southwest to Texas. Reality paints a better picture than film here… he and his bike he loved – a man free to roam.

The bike and him were inseparable, then, his bike was stolen in Houston Texas.The writer, Skip Woods, like any other victim went to Police, who traced the bike theft to a gang that ships expensive American-made motorcycles like Harleys and his Martin Brothers custom to Asia via Mexico and Los Angeles.

One mans search for his unique Martin Bro’s custom ride leads to major bike gang GTA bust in Mindanao. PHOTO: Law Enforcement handout

Not content to go out and buy a new one with insurance money, he hired private investigators, Orion Support Inc., who traced the bike and upon that, the custom bike was seen in Asia in the Philippines.

Tuesday, led by local Philippine National Police Provincial Director  Buboy Mijares, Agent Wency Galindez of NBI Cagayan De Oro, along with US Law enforcement – at least one FBI agent and OSI private invetigators – the team searching for the rare bike found much more than Skip’s bike.

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May 10, 2011 at 1:44 am Leave a comment

Philippines: Bill and Melinda Gate’s excellent Palawan adventure

Palawan: The Gates at Amanpulo “Bill and Melinda’s” awesome adventure

Bill and Melinda Gates arriving in Manila – photo was tagged to me on a social networking site by a anonymous source.

It was supposed to be a quiet weekend for Bill and Melinda at the ultra-plush seven star Amanpulo resort in the province I call home here in the Philippines. But, even the best kept secrets have a way of leaking and when one of the worlds richest and most influential men drop into the country for a quiet weekend with his wife and friends the social network happy and blogspere of the Philippines won’t let the story pass unnoticed.

Bill and Melinda, arrived quietly on friday for what seems to have been a very happy weekend; what they did, where they went, and whom they saw was supposed to be private.

But another guest at the resort -a philippine construction king’s family as well his and friends were there and now the secrets out of the bag.

Well one can’t blame katrina razon who just announced in a simple tweet on the 26th about Bill and Melinda’s, awesome adventure

 

Bill and Melinda’s adventure starts with a private jet arrival at Ninoy Aquino International Airport

More at http://www.mikeinmanila.com

April 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm Leave a comment

When a blogger goes bad: a Fishmarket rotten

Over the two decades I’ve been in this field as a journalist I, more often than not, do not react to other writers or bloggers’ opinions on subjects – but as I sometimes look over the reports to see whats there I sometimes get frustrated when I see a report so callous, so uncaring, so insensitive to others that it makes my blood boil.

The hyperlink below is to one such blogger – whose opinions below are syndicated by the ‘blogger news network’. OK,  a nice idea, but  with pitfalls of profession being that sometimes non-journalist writers often take liberties with facts they don’t or can’t even begin to write about because they just don’t know. In other words,  they are ignorant of the realities of what they are writing about and make cute opinions about topics to get away with filling space.

Nancy Reyes describes herself as a retired doctor. Well,  what kind of doctor could be so insensitive to human suffering she just blurts out a line like below:

[] …”The Korean hostages: Part of missionary life no one mentions
Blogger News Network – Here in the Philippines, the NPA specializes in Chinese businessmen. It’s a game, and the ransom is small, since China doesn’t help them, they only charge “… []

Having covered so many kidnappings I don’t even want to remember. I can’t begin to think if a real journalist or columnist wrote this the ramifications for such a line would be – one, they would be fired, two, they would lose most of the readers or advertisers they have. Lastly, they would probably get a visit from law enforcement since partly – her article ‘gives advice’ on who and who not kidnap.

Am I over reacting? NO – I’ve been to a shallow gravesides when not far from her ‘hometown’ of Gapan, Nueva Ecija, a mother clutched the rotten body of her son – filled with worms  – and cried and  screamed. Her son had been kidnapped. I was part of news team and police who had somehow gotten the information from aprehended kidnapper where the child was buried.

The child’s only crime was he was mestizo – a Filipino-Chinese. A son a mother loved; a sad fact was that he had ancestors who came from another part of Asia and because of that he was picked up in mall in Quezon City.  Then the family begged, borrowed, and sold everything to get the boy back  from hoodlums who who were too lazy to find work other than victimizing others. They took money from the family twice – who sold everything they could to get what ever was demanded – they borrowed more the second time.

But still the kidnappers – the vile and criminal men who not only killed the child tortured him – kept him in a septic tank with just enough space for him to stand his head above the filthy water  until they decided he was too sick to return so they killed him. Hardly the ‘harmless’ image Dra. Reyes seeks to portray of the men like these – who have killed hundreds and destroyed thousands of families lives. A number of these people from her own town. But perhaps she doesn’t live in Gapan,  or in Cabantaun or in the areas she so callously doesn’t seem to care about.

I as part the coverage team that dealt with Abu Sayyaf kidnappings had to talk and be the go-between for families of victims of both the Sipadan and Dos Palmas kidnappings. I talked for hours days and weeks with their families – I knew them and still keep in touch in with them – both the family members and victims themselves.

I’ve gone out with both NBI, PNP, and others search teams – I’ve been there when most of the time these men – grown men – come back weeping seeing the evils that are often done to the victims of these children, women, old men and old women who are taken by those whose only desire is making easy money. 9 times out of 10 are themselves killed – but masterminds often go away free and clear. Other times, they get away with it for a while but as in life what comes around goes around. They more often than not get what they deserve – but often too late for anyone they happen to victimize.

I don’t know why anyone who claims to be a healer can be so hurtful, why a so-called news organization like blogger news network let this get published.

But sadly the fact of the matter is, the topic is written by what in life is often the most dangerous thing – a person with little or no knowledge for the facts who couldn’t care less so long as what they write makes a few dollars for the banner ads on the sidebar.

I defend your right to you opinion with my life  as others who really do this work for living – journalism, but tell you flatly – you’re wrong. Kidnapping is never little thing and crime can never be so gently dismissed as to almost laughingly describe events of human suffering without the proper context the events are in. Please learn the facts and please do keep on writing. But for Gods sake, please do not dismiss something so heinous as this type of crime is as just a joke.

Otherwise that is what you become – a bad joke- with nobody laughing.

September 2, 2007 at 5:21 pm Leave a comment

53 dead in renewed Jolo fighting

At east 53 combatants – 26 soldiers and 27 Abu Sayyaf gang members have been killed reports reaching manila say in clashes in the southern philippines on the island of jolo in Sulu province.

The fighting stems from an ambush if a convoy which left 9 dead – and a later clash with Abu Sayyaf blockigng force left another 10 dead and more injured in pursiot operations. Media reports say the remaining causalities on their side came from injured troops who died en route or at hospitals in Jolo.

VIDEO: GMANews.TV  click to view

25 soldiers, 27 Abu Sayyaf killed in Sulu clashes

25 soldiers, 27 Abu Sayyaf killed in Sulu clashes

No MNLF rebels in Sulu clashes

AFP: No MNLF rebels in Sulu clashes

Sulu clashes kill 25 soldiers

Sulu clashes kill 25 soldiers

The latest action versus ASG members who experts say may be trying to create a diversion and devide AFP attention versus susspected ASG members involved in the beheading of Marines in near-by Basilan Proivince.

MILF agrees to reposition forces in Basilan to give way to
Minda News, Philippines – fighters will move out from their camps in Al Barka town in Basilan to allow the Marines to hunt four suspects believed to be Abu Sayyaf members who,

There at least five battalons of Philippine Army troops and Marines are seeking the men responsible for another ambush and later beheading of a military patrol there three weeks ago in Thursdays clash in Jolo.

The units coming from Camp Austurias were met by heravy resistance from ASG members who seem to have beefed up thier strength in new actions two weeks apart tht are targeting small units into ambush and attack tactics similar to those used in mainland mindanao by more veteran Moro fighters.

Over 50 killed in southern Philippines fighting Swissinfo
‘Fifty dead’ in Philippines clash BBC News
Fighting in Southern Philippines Kills at Least 20 Soldiers Voice of America
Wall Street Journal – Times of India

The goal appears to be the capture of weapons and equipment – there is also some speculation as well that the ASG and JI allies are looking for foreign civilian advisor’s – and or contractors who frequently travel with AFP units to project numerous development project sites.

There have also been reports the ASG, JI, and sympatisers are also sabotaging deep wells, damaging or burning comunity building and attemtping to destroy infrastructure in remote areas to reduce communications and transportion as well as community sympathy for the Philippine Military.

August 10, 2007 at 2:07 pm Leave a comment

AAP Philippine-American Friendship Day picnic at Sofitel

Fil-am friendshp Party at Sofitel

Fireworks display:

Every year the American community of Manila gathers to celebrate Independance day and Fil-Am friendship day. Last year the events took place at the International School in Taguig. It was a fun picnic and as ussual there were marching bands, kids games, a party and fun for all. I featured it on FYITv.net and my youtube site:

FYITv.net

This year the event takes place at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza.

flyer:

american-independence-day-flyer-high.jpg

(more…)

June 30, 2007 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

Philippine Call center gets SMS bomb threat – false alarm but…

A call center based in the former Fort Bonifacio area of Taguig was the subject of the bomb threat that led to the evacuation of over 2,000 employee’s Monday night.

Identified in media reports as the Amber Creek company – Police and security officials were quick to downplay the threat – even after extensive EOD, Swat, and private security anti-terrorism units were deployed to area – per official reports no device was found.

Call center in Taguig gets bomb threat

Call center in Taguig gets bomb threat

The disruption to service comes as call centers are facing increasing problems of rising costs on a weaker US dollar – this days trading at 45 pesos to the Dollar has some BPO companies looking at a serious level of cost saving s of being  set up in the Philippines on contracts based at a time when the US dollar was almost  at 57 pesos to one greenback.

However -the weaker Dollar means that costs are even higher than the Philippines in other outsourced areas such as Ireland and Canada – today Canada’s dollar traded at 92 cents Canadian to one greenback – the costs savings of basing in Canada for some US outsourced firms has lessened to point that many are shifting back to back-up zones in places like Nevada and Connecticut – where wages are lower actually than Toronto and Quebec in general with the new exchange rate levels expected to see a ‘Canuk’ dollar reaching equality with its south of the border US cousins at nearly the same level in the month or so some predict.

Overall outsourcing has become such a investment draw to the region – the philippines in particular is now seen as the top investment destination in the region with vietnam coming in at close second. Or so Japan’s Nikkei reports.

However last night terror related incident seems to have been a false alarm – the idea of threat to such a vital industry here was clearly not lost on security firms who grabbed cameras and prevent as much as they could media’s reporting on anything related to the incident as much as they could. The whole area is private property even if it is a public place.

It is the sum of all fears for couturiers like the Philippines now seen a prime investment destination because of its ability to bounce back from bombing spree’s and other problems that has made it an attractive destination for many industries including IP based services – yet fears remain as clear as the worried faces of officials who laughed off the insident as a prank – that may have been a worker trying to get off work early.

Yet – privately knowing the fickle nature of clients these centers represent threats or actual incidents could result in contract displacement or termination.

You can be sure authorities are keeping an eye on the possibility that the threat is being closely looked at considering warnings over possible JI-Abu Sayyaf  teams in Manila  as also some group attempting to test and gauge response times and study evacuation plans.

Experts I have talked to are closely looking into that possible….  idea that there may be more here than meets the eye even the possibility of business rivals seeking to disrupt services or disgruntled employee’s seeking notoriety.

We’ll keep an eye on this one and see what happens – if it was a prank as it seems to be – then the person who sent the bogus threat should be found, punished, and charged for whatever possible crime is available in the law books. Afterall text messages are admissible as evidence in court.

Let’s see where this goes….

May 23, 2007 at 1:20 am 2 comments

Palawan: Oil search may yield up to 450 Million Barrels

A new seismic study of the Australian owned firms lease of Nido Petroleum off the coast of Palawan Province indicates the area may have yield of up to 450 Million barrels of Oil available for the Nido service contract area 54.

PERTH, Australia, May 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Nido Petroleum is pleased to
announce further updates on the exploration programme of Service Contract
54 (SC 54).
    SC 54 is being evaluated by Nido and Joint Venture partner, Yilgarn
Petroleum Philippines PTY Ltd (Yilgarn) with the focus being placed on two
areas within the permit.
    The first area consists of the technically robust Coron North prospect,
which shows potential for up to 450 million barrels of oil. The recent 3D
seismic interpretation has confirmed Coron North as a strong drilling
opportunity.
    Further technical and commercial analysis will need to be completed
before Coron North is mature for drilling; however Nido and Yilgarn are
very excited by the potential size of the structure.
    Nido's Head of Exploration, Mr. Jon Pattillo says, "Nido is pleased
that the 3D seismic is starting to deliver tangible exploration results, in
particular the Coron North prospect which is developing into an attractive
drilling opportunity."
    Also included in this first focus area is the Princesa lead; the 3D
seismic data has confirmed the presence of the Pagasa turbidite play,
including the large Princesa lead, in the western part of SC 54.
    Nido is confident it will have a positive update on the Princesa lead
once the additional 180km2 3D seismic programme is completed in the third
quarter of 2007.
    In addition the high quality 3D seismic has also uncovered a number of
new leads similar to the Coron North project and Princesa lead. This
provides even greater upside potential within SC 54.
    The second focus area is in the shallow waters of the eastern part of
SC 54. Nido is especially interested in finding new opportunities here
which can quickly be brought onto production to generate early cash flow.
    Initial interpretation of this portion of the permit has identified 24
pinnacle reef structures in less than 120 meters of water. The reef trend
is of particular importance because of its similarity to the producing Nido
oil fields.
    These pinnacle reef structures are possible candidates for rapid
exploitation given the lower drilling and development costs afforded by
shallow waters. Detailed technical and engineering work will be conducted
over the next few months to determine the commerciality of these features.
    Nido's Managing Director, Mr. David Whitby says the results validate
Nido's long-held belief in the prospectivity of the Palawan Basin as a
whole.
    "The opportunities currently being evaluated in SC 54 provide Nido with
a significant prospect and lead portfolio from which to select a number of
high quality candidates for drilling in the next sub-phase of the Service
Contract."

This is good news as on top of this there are already productive fields of natural gas and Oil in the area. Over the last few decades the palawan Oil fields often have not been much more than a trickle onto the world market.

It’s Gas Field however is another story – shame though that island province does not have its own pipeline that might lower costs for electricity in the area. Most if not all of the Gas fields wealth is going to be used to support electrical requirements of metro Manila – using a 2 billion dollar pipeline network that is almost at its completion.

A spur line should have been lobbied for to get more of the Natural Gas onto the mainland of Palawan – but – the powers that be only seem to interested in Metro Manila and the surrodning areas rather than allowing another xone to develop and compete and decongest the already over populated capitol. a shame really considering – chaep power could really be a boon to the ‘Last Frontier of the Philippines”.

May 17, 2007 at 2:57 am Leave a comment

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